By James S. Margulis, Esq.
The Supreme Court of Colorado recently decided a case to determine whether
accrued vacation and sick leave may be considered marital property subject
to division pursuant to the Colorado Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act.
The name of the case is
In re the Marriage of Cardona and Castro.
The Court held that where a spouse has an enforceable right to be paid
for accrued vacation or sick leave, such accrued leave earned during the
marriage is marital property.
Further, where the value of such leave at the time of the dissolution of
marriage can be reasonably ascertained, it is subject to equitable division
between the spouses. However, when the value of such leave at the time
of dissolution cannot be reasonably ascertained, the Court should consider
the employee spouse's right to such leave as an economic circumstance
of the parties when equitably dividing the marital estate.
In this specific case, the Court concluded that the trial court erred in
considering the value of the spouse's accrued leave as part of the
marital estate because no competent evidence was presented to establish
that the spouse had an enforceable right to payment for such leave.
In essence, if the leave accrued during the marriage and can be valued
at the time of dissolution, then the leave should be equitably divided
between the parties. If the leave accrued during the marriage, but cannot
be valued at the time of dissolution, it should still be considered as
part and parcel of the overall equitable division of the marital assets
It is critical that one protect and receive
of the assets they are entitled to in a dissolution of marriage proceeding.
For all of your domestic law needs, please contact the Domestic Team at
Feldmann & Nagel, LLC.